Tag Archives: Kassam rockets

Cease Fire In Gaza Ceases

The week-long lull in fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza appears to have come to a conclusion as rockets slammed into the western Negev heading to the city of Siderot and other communities bordering on the Gaza Strip. Palestinian militants insist they are responding to the killing Wednesday of four Islamic Jihad gunmen in Bethlehem. The Israel Defense Force carried out an attack on a rocket launcher in response to the new attacks. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the killing of militants in Bethlehem is merely a demonstration of the determination to “hunt and target every killer who has Jewish blood on his hands.” Israel officials blame Hamas for the end of the cease fire and promise to respond in an appropriate manner to the rocket attacks.

In every situation in which opposing forces have finally come to a peaceful resolution of their conflict, each side has been compelled to put aside anger at the reality their opponent has blood on their hands. Palestinians can cite examples of the death of innocent civilians and Israel can argue militants have killed innocent Israelis. At some point, both sides must accept the reality there will always be blood in the past but the future can become blood-free.

Fighting Rages In Gaza As Invasion Looms

The israel Defense Force conducted several mililtay actions in Gaza even as Hamas militants fired at least 50 Kassams and mortar bombs into Israel. At least 59 Palestinians were killed including 16 civillians. The IAF claimed it bombed a truck loaded with rockets. Many of the Palestinians who were killed were unfortuanately living in areas from which rockets are launched into Israel. Izzadin Kassam, the armed wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for firing dozens of rockets at Israel, one of which misfired and wounded five Gazans.

President Abbas urged Israel to end the attacks saying this continuing war would halt peace efforts, and he also urged an end to rocket attacks. Each side is now locked into a tit for tat approach in which the other side must halt before it will. The time has come for an immediate cease fire which means outside mediators must be engaged who can deal with the crisis. Kofi Annan just completed a successful mediating process in Kenya, he certainly could be someone to assume leadership in bringing about peace. There certainly is need for an outside peacekeeping force to maintain peace and security in the area. We recommend asking Turkey to supply such forces since it has excellent realtions with both Israel and Palestinians.

Israel Close To Gaza Operation As Kassams Hit Targets

There, undoubtedly, are happy people in Gaza or elsewhere in the Arab world who are proud rockets are being fired into Israel. Kasam rockets land on targets or blow up in empty fields while occasionally a few hit people in Gaza, but, that is of no importance to those committed to the proposition only violence will resolve Palestine’s conflict with Israel. The latest round of attacks on Israel has resulted in the almost growing certainty Israel’s Defense Force will launch an invasion of Gaza to wipe out rocket sites. According to some sources, the IDF attack may even go beyond that goal and result in elemination of the Hamas government. Defense Minister Barack said his nation no longer would tolerate rocket fire on their cities.

There is scant doubt missiles are coming into Gaza from Iran and that Syria is playing a role in encouraging Hamas to use this approach to dealing with current issues with Israel. The Hama government sometimes approachs problem solving with an “Appointment in Samarra” attitude that accepts an appointment with death as the only way in which peace efforts can be furthered. Yes, to the gleeful who shout approval at a rocket hitting an Israel home, violence resulted in hurting an Israeli citizen. But, what about the hundreds or thousands who might die if Israel forces invade Gaza? Hamas leadership is more interested in scoring points than in scoring peace.

Palestinians March At Gaza

An expectd 40,000 Palestinians living in Gaza are marching along Gaza Strip’s border in protest of Israel’s economic embargo on the coastal territory. The head of the Palestinian Popular Anti-Siege Committee, Jamall al-Khudary said: “We do not have intentions of approaching the fence, either in the north or south. We hope all the participants will abide by the nstruction and we will try to prevent any violations. He emphazied there would not be any attempt to confront members of the Israel Defense Force. Mot of the marchers are women and children.

A source in Jerualsam said the IDF would repsonse if shooting breaks out. On Sunday, two Kassam rockets wree fired, one landed in Israel and one in Palestinian territory. The IDF uncovered five tunnels being used to funnel supplies into Gaza.

It might be beneficial next week to have two demonstrations in Gaza. One conducted by Israelis to protest the continued economic embargo and one conducted by Gazans against sites where Kassam rockets are being fired. These rallies would call attention to problems being faced by Gazans and Israelis.

Post Annapolis-Rockets, Assassinations, Death!

Two months ago, President Bush convened a conference at Annapolis whose goal was creating conditions for peace in the Middle East. He deliberately refused to invite groups like Hamas or Hizbullah because of his belief the only way to deal with terrorism is to kill its leaders, During the ensuing seventy days there has been non-stop rocket attacks on Israel cities, and leaders of terrorist orgaizations killed without any change in death and destruction. A report in the Sunday Times suggests Mossad agents played a role in the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh in Syria by replacing the headrest of his car with one containing explosives.

Mughniyeh was reported working with Syrian and Iranian sources on a plan to strike at Israel targets to avenge an IDF attack on a Syrian installation in 2007. Fears of Israeli attacks have now compelled Hamas leaders in Gaza to avoid using telephones. The attack and counter-attack syndrome is the basis for dealing with political issues in the Middle East. Each side claims the right to strike because the other side killed someone. The assumption killing leaders somehow results in destroying an organization has rarely been accomplished in history. The strategy of killing civilians to prevent the other side from attacking has never been proved successful in history.

It is time for a real conference, perhaps chaired by someone like Kofi Annan or Nelson Mandela whose agenda is dealing with step one of any peace process– how to end the immediate killings on the part of all sides.

Hit Back Without Compromise Insists Israel Leaders

Prime Minister Olmert visiting in Berlin was told by German Chancellor Angela Merkel of her support in demanding that Hamas cease their rocket attacks on Israel. She agrees there is a humanitarian crisis in Gazaq and “the easiest answer to this is for the firing on the state of Israel, the terrorist activities, to be stopped , and then there is no need to talk about future sanctions.”Olmert urged Germany to end all further commerce with Iran, and when asked if attacking Iran due to its alleged nuclear development program was an Israel consideration, he responded: “No option is ruled out.”

Presdient Peres told the press the reason Hamas leader Prime Minister Haniyeh is in hiding is due to his fear that Gazans might kill him and Israel is prepared to strike Gaza rocket facilities without hesitation or compromise. This is a rather strange belief considering Israel has threatened to kill the Hamas leader. Meanwhile, the militant Israel Interior Minister, Meier Sheetrit, said he wanted to build a “modern Arab city” in Galilee for Israel Arab citizens.

The government of Israel has every right to defend itself against military aggression, but use of military is only one weapon in ending the rocket attacks. We beg to differ with the Israel president, but compromise is the essence of resolving problems. Israel has been relying on military action for years and still terrorism continues and rocket attacks go on. At some point, it must realize discussions with Hamas, without preconditions, offer the best hope for resolution of problems.

We find it strange that an Israel leader wants to construct an “Arab city” for its Israel Arab citizens. They are Israelis as much as any Jewish person. Segregation was never the dream of those who founded the state of Israel.

Palestinian Authority Gloomy Over Peace Prospects

Palestinian Pime Minister Salaam Fayad expressed his pessimism concerning the possibility of achieving a peaceful resolution of the conflict with Israel any time in 2008. He blamed failure on the part of Israel to dismantle illegal West Bank settlements and the continuing Israeli military activities on the West Bank as undermining factors which impair movement towards peace. Fayad argues the continued presence of Israel soldiers on the West Bank makes it clear that Palestinian forces are not in charge. Israel Foreign Minister, Tzip Livni, insists the IDF has to deal with terrorist forces and until that is accomplished, they simply can not allow the creation of a Palestinian Authority.

Yesterday, another 22 Kassam rockets hit the Negev area. Israel and the Palestinian Authority continue dancing around the topic of where does Hamas fit into the peace equation. It is this failure which is fundamental to the eventual resolution of issues that damage movement towards peace. At some point, Hamas must become a player in the peace process.

Israel Defense Minister Promises Solutions To Terror

A day after a suicide bomber detonated a belt loaded with explosives which killed an elderly Israel woman, Defense Minister Ehud Barak promised the Israel Defense Force would uncover a solution to deal with such outbreaks. He assured the Israel population the IDF would find a way to halt terror attacks as well as end the Kassam rockets which come from Gaza. A member of the Israel parliament urged Barak to have improved security fences built around Gaza.

A security fence can contain people within a geographic area for a certain period of time, but eventually some get out and there are more suicide attacks. Israel consistently has relied on its military to handle terrorism, a policy that results in limited success. At some point, those who use terror tactics must be engaged in the halls of diplomacy which is the ultimate geographic area offering hope for a permanent end to terrorism. After a half century of one military operation after another, why does Barak believe one more shot at military action this time will succeed?

Mubarak To Israel– It’s Your Gaza Problem!

President Mubarak of Egypt in an interview with the Italian newspaper, La Republica, made clear that Israel’s dream of “throwing the Strip” at the Egyptians was “only a dream” and would not be achieved. The Egyptian president insisted the Gaza Strip was an Israeli problem and the government of Israel had continually made mistakes in dealing with Hamas. He believes its policy of strangling the Gaza area in order to weaken Hamas has backfired resulting in the present chaotic situation. Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal, was in Cairo discussing with Egyptian security officials ways in which to restore some semblance of law and order in the area. Al-Jazeera denied a Reuters report of a massive explosion in the Gaza area saying somehow a reporter transformed a policeman firing of a bullet into the air as being a major incident.

At some point, Israeli officials have to make contact with reality in its efforts to isolate and marginalize Hamas. These strategies simply have not worked. Targeting key Hamas leaders and killing them has yet to result in any significant decline in Hamas strength and it certainly has not reduced the firing of Kassam rockets. Perhap, it is time to talk with Hamas leaders regardless of whether or not they will tone down their angry rhetoric against Israel. Hopefully, talks and some form of compromise solutions may eventually result in a reduction in the level of threats. It might also even end the firing of Kassam rockets.

Building Rockets In Gaza-Nonstop!

Ulrike Putz, correspondent for the German publication, Der Spiegel, made contact with Palestinian militants who spend each evening making Kassam rockets. He talked with several young men connected with the Islamic Jihad who are dedicated to risking their lives making the bombs. “It’s a long journey,” says the German newspaperman, “through the pitch-deark night as the taxi heads towards he secret rocket factory in the Gaza Strip. Since Abdul(not real name) and his two friends got in, it has become a life-threatening trip. The young men prodfuce rockets for the Islamic Jihad. Day after day, their rudimentary bombs land on Israel villages, fields and kibbutzum.” Israel ordinarily retaliates by attempting to kill leaders of the group by targeting cars. The men claim they get supplies from the Sudan or eastern Europe which go through secret tunnels from the Egyptian border and they are receiving money, but they would not reveal the sources of those funds.

The team claimed they could make up to a 100 rockets each night. They send rockets to unknown destinations and blame Israel for the misery of the people of Gaza. At no point in this story is their any recognition on the part of these young men how they are creating misery for the people of Gaza. Their minds simply block at their connection to chaos in Gaza since they refuse to blame any other party but Israel.

Their continued existence will most probably at some time result in an Israel invasion to ensure the end of rocket attacks.